New Delhi: Stepping up pressure on the Centre over the special category status demand, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday hit out at the UPA government saying it was "discriminatory" towards states not ruled by Congress or its allies.
Patnaik claimed that his state`s long-standing demand for special category status was being denied because of "political considerations".
"It can be seen quite clearly," he told PTI.
"I have no objection to any part of India getting benefits. But these political considerations with which benefits are going to Bihar, UP, Bengal, it is not correct. Odisha`s just demand should be fulfilled and we struggled for that," he said.
Patnaik dismissed the suggestion that his rally tomorrow in the capital was inspired by a similar one organised by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
The rally, he said, was being organised in the wake of the Planning Commission rejecting the state`s demand for the special category status.
"Odisha has a long standing demand and we fulfil all criteria except international boundary. Recently, the Finance Minister in his budget speech spoke of a committee to look into backward states and how they could benefit.
"But since then we received a letter from the Planning Commission deputy chairperson saying Odisha cannot get this status. So we are having this public meeting tomorrow," the chief minister said.